How the moon came to be

first_imgFrom the earliest days of human history, people have gazed at the moon and wondered: Where did it come from? What is it made of?Growing up in Taiwan, Yaray Ku was no different. From an early age, she remembers being captivated by the gleaming orb.But here’s the thing: She might actually be able to answer those questions eventually.A fourth-year graduate student in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences working in the lab of Professor of Geochemistry Stein Jacobsen, Ku is engaged in a project aimed at understanding how the moon formed, and to do it, she’s working with actual lunar samples.“It’s pretty simple — I see the moon every day, and I really just wonder where it came from,” she said. “Just the simple fact that it’s there amazes me, and I think geology and planetary science is the way to really tackle those questions.”To do it, Ku first had to get her hands on samples collected from the moon — which is easier said than done.“We make an official proposal to NASA and ask for samples, and in most cases they send us a small vial — usually less than 100 milligrams — of what is really just powder,” she said. With sample in hand, Ku then sets out to do something that, on the surface, seems horrifyingly wrong — dissolving it with powerful acids.“Unfortunately, the samples we work with, we have to destroy,” she said. “What we end up with is a solution that contains different elements, and because I’m only interested in certain elements — particularly potassium — I can use resins to collect those and measure their isotopic makeup.”,Ultimately, Ku said, the idea is that, by comparing the lunar material to terrestrial samples, scientists can begin to formulate a clearer idea of the aftermath of the massive collision that formed the moon.“This goes back to the giant impact theory, which is the idea that there was a collision between the Earth and another planet, and in the aftermath the debris re-coalesced to form the moon,” she said. “Based on modeling and simulations of that collision, the prediction was that 80 percent or more of the moon came from that other planet, meaning the moon should have a different isotopic composition than the Earth.”That was the theory, at least.As it turned out, when researchers began to test the samples collected from the moon by Apollo astronauts, the isotopic profiles were virtually identical, forcing a re-evaluation.Rather than the moon forming largely from the remnants of the planet that collided with Earth, the new theory was that perhaps the impact caused the two bodies to mix together, and they later separated into the Earth and moon out of a single isotopic pool.You could be forgiven for thinking the story ends there, but a closer look at samples of Earth and moon rock found differences in some elements, particularly potassium isotopes, Ku said.While a number of possible explanations for those differences have been advanced, none can completely explain the current measurements of potassium isotopes.To find the answers, Ku said, researchers need to keep testing samples — particularly lunar samples. Houghton Library show marking 50th anniversary of moonwalk includes NASA artifacts Harvard reflects on Apollo 11 and Neil Armstrong’s moon walk The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news. Relatedcenter_img Exhibit charts history of Apollo 11 moon mission Trio of astronomers discuss a giant leap for a man, 50 years later “We more or less have pretty good estimates on the Earth rocks,” she said. “And we have lunar samples, but we only have them from a handful of places on the moon. They’re not representative. It would be great to have things from the other side, or from other locations … so we can find the best value to represent the entire moon.”Whether she ultimately finds those answers, Ku said she is grateful to have the opportunity to work with actual material collected from the moon.“It’s just very, very, very cool,” she said. “But more than excitement, I really feel very privileged to do this, because other people put their life on the line to go to the moon and collect [material] for our science research. So, I really do feel grateful.”In the end, though, Ku said simply working with samples from the moon isn’t enough“I really want to go to the moon in my lifetime,” she said. “I want to get involved in space exploration, because I feel exploring the different planets and our universe is something humans are uniquely able to do, and I want to reach for those unknowns we are chasing.”last_img read more

Roy Hodgson expects bids to come in for Arsenal transfer target Wilfried Zaha

first_img Comment Zaha is Palace’s main man (Picture: Getty)‘But I certainly wouldn’t count on that because if I was at another club, I’d be looking to sign players of his quality.’The summer transfer window is expected to be impacted by the coronavirus pandemic which has caused financial issues for football clubs across the world.UEFA have green light new dates for the upcoming window and told the Premier League transfer activity must be completed by 5 October.Palace have managed to steer themselves away from a relegation battle and take on Bournemouth on Saturday night.MORE: Mikel Arteta hails Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ improved attitude ahead of Arsenal vs BrightonMORE: Mikel Arteta gives honest assessment of Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette’s ‘difficult season’Follow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. For more stories like this, check our sport page. Advertisement Advertisement Zaha was a target for Arsenal last summer (Picture: Getty)Roy Hodgson has admitted it would be ‘foolish’ for Crystal Palace to assume no big clubs will submit offers for Wilfried Zaha in the next transfer window.Zaha was the subject of intense transfer speculation last summer, with Palace turning down bids from Arsenal and Everton.The forward recently said it was ‘amazing’ to have Arsenal try to sign him, appearing to open the door to a future move to the club.Palace resume club action this weekend after three months off due to the coronavirus pandemic and Hodgson conceded he could not rule off having to spend another summer worrying about losing Zaha.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENT‘It’s an unknown isn’t it, how much money is going to be floating around in the next window,’ Hodgson said in his pre-match press conference.‘I think we’d be very foolish to relax and start thinking there will be no bids for Wilf Zaha, no big-money interest in him, because he’s such a good player.‘He has the ability to play at any level, anywhere in the world, so who knows? If we find it easy to keep him because there aren’t big bids coming in, that would be fine. Roy Hodgson expects bids to come in for Arsenal transfer target Wilfried Zaha Coral BarrySaturday 20 Jun 2020 11:21 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link568Shareslast_img read more

Governor Wolf’s First Term Marks Substantial Shift for Pennsylvania’s Energy, Environment

first_imgGovernor Wolf’s First Term Marks Substantial Shift for Pennsylvania’s Energy, Environment January 08, 2019 SHARE Email Facebook Twittercenter_img Environment,  Press Release Harrisburg, PA – Since taking office, Governor Tom Wolf has worked to protect Pennsylvania’s air, water, and land through smarter energy policy and conservation. Today following the signing of a new executive order establishing the first statewide air pollution goal, he pledged to continue to make Pennsylvania an environmental leader in his second term.“Since coming to office I have been a strong advocate for the environment and have worked to make sure all Pennsylvanians have clean air and pure water,” said Governor Wolf. “Pennsylvania has seen major reductions in pollution since I came to office. Our focus on increased reliance on clean energy, improved energy efficiency, and improved oversight of emissions of potent greenhouse gases such as methane, have all been critical in helping to move Pennsylvania forward.”Governor Wolf’s efforts over the past four years, including working in a bipartisan manner with the General Assembly, and environmental advocates, have resulted in increased protections for Pennsylvania’s resources:Clear AirMoved forward with a Methane Reduction Strategy, including finalizing some of the first permits in the nation to set a threshold on methane emissions from new unconventional gas wells and other infrastructure, and proposing new regulations to reduce methane emissions from existing wells and infrastructure.Began implementing a plan to use the $118 million settlement from Volkswagen to reduce air pollution from cars, trucks, and other diesel-powered equipment.Fought the Trump Administration’s attempts to gut environmental laws and regulations and defund critical environmental programs and the EPA.Pure WaterHired additional staff for the Safe Drinking Water program to ensure Pennsylvanian’s drinking water is clean and safe.Provided enhanced protections to dozens of streams across Pennsylvania in order to reduce pollution, protect aquatic life, and provide recreational opportunities for anglers and tubers alike.Formed the PFAS Action Team in September 2018. Led by DEP Sec. Patrick McDonnell, this multi-agency team is taking proactive steps to identify possible contamination and address health concerns for Pennsylvanians.Secured funding for communities stricken by the 2018 floods, and provided clearer guidance for residents and municipalities on how to manage streams and rivers to prevent flooding.Achieved unprecedented progress toward 2025 water pollution reduction goals through new levels of partnership and innovation.Clean Energy JobsSigned legislation that enables low-cost, long-term funding for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and water conservation upgrades to commercial or industrial properties.Released a plan to increase solar power across Pennsylvania to 10 percent of total production by 2030.Signed legislation to expand of the use of solar energy across the commonwealth, while ensuring that the environmental and health benefits of solar energy are experienced in Pennsylvania.Retooled the state’s Solar Energy Program to include grant funding to help make Pennsylvania a leader in clean energy.Modernization, Remediation, and SustainabilityIncreased oil and gas drilling inspections after switch to electronic process in 2017.Secured increased funding for the Department of Environmental Protection in order to help it fulfill its mission of protecting Pennsylvania’s air, land, and water from pollution and to providing for the health and safety of its citizens through a cleaner environment.Moved forward with enhanced building codes to help save Pennsylvanian’s money on utilities, improve energy efficiency, and enhance safety.Reinstated a moratorium on oil and gas development on state parks and forests.Awarded more than $60 million in grants to communities and businesses to improve and restore streams and watersheds, repair abandoned mine damage, improve water and sewer infrastructure, and switch to cleaner vehicles.Approved millions in funding to reclaim and restore abandoned mine lands for the benefit of the environment and local economies.In addition to the Wolf Administration’s first term accomplishments, the governor vowed to continue to take meaningful steps to address climate change, while helping to create good paying jobs in the clean energy sector and be a responsible steward of taxpayer dollars by:Continuing to work to streamline permitting by utilizing technology such as e-permitting and continual process improvements to ensure that the regulated community receives permit decisions in a predictable, timely manner, while Pennsylvania’s critical environment protections are maintained.Finalizing a strong Watershed Implementation Plan to support Pennsylvania farmers and communities in improving local water quality.Participating in the regional Transportation Climate Initiative to develop the clean energy economy and reduce oil dependence and greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector.Moving forward with implementation of recommendations of the PA Solar Future Plan.Supporting the implementation of Pennsylvania’s Climate Action Plan, which will be released shortly and contains numerous strategies to address climate change impacts and reduce emissions within various sectors of Pennsylvania’s economy.last_img read more

Courtside: In an election year, a nonideal sports shutdown comes at an ideal time

first_imgI’ve noticed a number of ways fans have tried to fill this gaping hole left in our hearts by the lack of sports. Rewatching old classics, intense gaming and indoor 3-point contests with toilet paper and a laundry hamper are some.  More specifically, flip on the type of news that, if you’re paying any attention, reaffirms time and time again how much the current administration here in America lacks both the decency and the brains to properly deal with this crisis.  The failures of President Trump and his cabinet are on full display right before our very eyes. They’re really not trying to hide them — or at least, they aren’t doing a very good job at it — and we have no sports to give us an excuse not to pay attention. That’s all good and well. But don’t miss this opportunity to pay closer attention to some of the things that will have a much wider and longer-lasting impact on our world than the suspension of the NBA, delay of MLB or cancelation of NCAA spring competition. That is, flip off ESPN’s Slippery Stairs broadcast (which, I admit, is entertaining), and flip on the news.  If everything must be framed within the context of sports, fine: They’re playing baseball again in South Korea. You know — the news that talks about the whole global pandemic thing that caused this societal shutdown in the first place, how many lives it has claimed and will likely claim in the near future, what scientific and social strategies have been taken around the world to flatten the curve — not the news that quibbles over which team Jameis Winston will throw 80 interceptions for next year or what number his (washed) successor will wear on the road to his couch to watch the playoffs. Early on in the shutdown of the sports world, I spent many of my waking hours trying to find a silver lining. I struggled.  But over the course of approximately the last week, I found it, and since I did, it has become more and more painfully obvious with each passing day. Think about the fact that South Korea and the United States each had their first reported confirmed case on Jan. 20, and that one of those countries has mitigated the spread of the virus about as effectively as physically possible, while the other country is the United States. Nathan Ackerman is a sophomore writing about sports and sociopolitics. He is also an associate managing editor of the Daily Trojan. His column, “Courtside,” typically runs every Friday. I’ll do whatever I can to approach my necessary daily sports fix, and you should too — but don’t get sucked in. Don’t let it prevent you from tuning in to the other things that matter. You’ve been sitting on your ass for the last week because that’s essentially all you’re legally allowed to do. You miss sports and no matter how many 1993 NBA playoff games you watch, you’ll still miss sports. Accept this reality. Watch the news. If there was ever a good time for the suspension of sports due to a global pandemic (there’s not), it’s now. This administration has failed its people often for the last three years, but what better time to notice that most glaringly than right before we have the chance to replace it with a new one?! For the time being, sports are gone, and that sucks. But meanwhile, the response to the crisis by our president — which sucks even more — continues to reveal the glaring shortcomings within the current administration, and the absence of sports is giving us a perfect opportunity to realize them. I hope you take advantage of that. Think about the asymptomatic NBA players that have been tested for the virus while your average American citizen with anything short of life-threatening symptoms can’t. Think about the fact that we don’t have enough masks or respirators to protect the healthcare workers risking their lives to treat the sick. Think about the fact that these exact fucking problems were predicted by a mock epidemic conducted by experts and former officials in May 2018, the same month President Donald Trump blew up a National Security Council unit specifically intended to prepare for the threat of a pandemic because, evidently, that threat seemed minimal. Oops! If this doesn’t spur the political participation that our country is so clearly lacking, I really don’t know what will. I miss sports incredibly. The other day I filled out a hypothetical March Madness bracket and used a random number generator to simulate the entire tournament. I’ve watched the 2019 and 2018 Philadelphia Phillies video yearbooks on YouTube the last two days, and I plan to watch the 2017 one shortly after I finish writing this column.  Think about the fact that the president was asked by a reporter how to calm the anxieties of Americans rightfully terrified by the outbreak — quite possibly the easiest question a president can answer in times like these — to which he responded, “You’re a terrible reporter … I don’t call it ‘Comcast,’ I call it ‘Concast.’”last_img read more